January 1, 2013
Volume 77, Number 1
Residents' Review: Resolve to Become Involved in 2013!
Nicole Weiss, M.D., President Resident Component
As the incoming president of the ASA Resident Component, I want to thank you all for another great year. The resident component represents not only the future of patient care but also the future of research, political involvement and global outreach. I am excited for the new year and want to share some of the plans the governance committee has made.
Advocacy needs to continue to be a top priority. Awareness of ongoing health care reform and its impact on our patient quality of care is critical for the future of our specialty. From drug shortages to changes in reimbursement to potential changes in the role of midlevel providers, these issues affect not only our careers but our patients’ safety as well. Education of our members about these concerns is central to our mission. However, awareness must also be translated into action. Last year, the component had record-breaking participation in the ASA Political Action Committee (ASAPAC). I would particularly like to congratulate the 28 residency programs that had 100-percent involvement. We still have a long way to go. It is our goal to encourage every resident to become a member of ASAPAC. We also want to promote participation in the ASA Grassroots Network. The Grassroots Network helps constituents reach out to their elected officials when important legislation comes to a congressional vote. While our lobbyists can open the door on Capitol Hill, constituents carry the most weight with lawmakers. Residents may not have the financial resources to contribute large amounts to the PAC, but every resident has the capability of making a phone call or sending an email.
One of my personal goals is to increase support for the Lifebox organization www.lifebox.org. Lifebox raises money to purchase pulse oximeters for hospitals around the world.
As anesthesiologists, our medical profession is best-suited to recognize the value of pulse oximetry in patient care. Currently, most developed countries consider pulse oximetry a standard of care; however, over 70,000 operating rooms in developing countries do not have access to it. This is something we can change. For the first time, the resident and medical student components joined together for a fundraiser at last year’s annual meeting. Together we raised enough money to buy several pulse oximeters for use in the developing world. More importantly, residents and medical students across the country learned about the mission of Lifebox and will continue to support it in the future.
Finally, there are many opportunities throughout the year for residents to get involved in ASA at a national level. For example, PRACTICE MANAGEMENT 2013 is coming up and will take place from January 25-27. Not only does it have a separate resident track, it is also going to be in Las Vegas! For residents who want to get more involved in advocacy, the ASA Legislative Conference takes place at the end of April. Last year, more than 100 residents attended. It is a great place to learn about the lobbying process, meet the leaders of ASA and start a career in political advocacy. ASA governance is also beginning to plan for the next annual meeting in San Francisco. The annual meeting hosts a number of events geared toward residents, in addition to the numerous opportunities available to all members. No matter what your interests are, the component has something to offer. I look forward to working with you all and making this a great and productive year.
Nicole Weiss, M.D. is a CA-3 resident,
Tulane University Medical Center,
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